What Happens During an Arrest?
An arrest occurs when a law enforcement officer limits your freedom of movement. Normally, an officers needs a warrant to make an arrest. However, officers can arrest you if they witness you doing a criminal act, such as DWI.
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When you are arrested you have the right to remain silent. You do not have the right to resist arrest. In fact resisting arrest can result in another criminal charge.
If you do answer questions, any statements you make may be used against you during an arraignment or trial.
For a DWI arrest, you can refuse to take breath, blood and field sobriety tests—such as counting backwards from 100 or balancing while walking a straight line—but doing so will automatically lead to administrative suspension of your license to drive. Within 15 days of your arrest you can request a hearing to contest the automatic suspension.
If you decide to answer questions, you have the right to have your attorney present during questioning.
You also have the right to know the charges related to your arrest.
In some situations an officer can hold you for questioning without arresting you. In such cases, failure to answer questions about your current activities could legitimately lead to an arrest.
What Happens After an Arrest
After an arrest a police officer may take you to a police station or jail. If you have not previously contacted your attorney you can do so at this time.
Depending on that charges, you may be asked to supply handwriting samples, voice printing samples or DNA samples, for example.
You may also be fingerprinted and photographed.
A magistrate may then inform you of the charges and your rights.
You may be released on your personal promise in some cases. Or, you may need to post a bond to help assure your appearance in court. If you have limited financial resources you may ask the magistrate to lower your bond based on your reliability.
If you are arrested you should call Rick Cohen for your criminal defense. Call 972-233-4100.
How to Process Your Case
There are three ways to process your case after your arrest. You can plea bargain, do an open plea, or go to trial.
A plea bargain is a deal between the prosecution and defense. The defendant pleads guilty or no contest in exchange for a punishment specified by the prosecutor. If the judge does not agree with the punishment—thinking perhaps the punishment is too easy for example—the defendant can withdraw plea.
In an open play the defendant pleads guilty or no contest without first making a deal with the prosecutor. In this case a judge or jury will determine the punishment.
During a trial the defendant pleads not guilty and the prosecutor attempts to prove guilt to the judge or jury or both. During the trial the prosecution and the defense select a jury. The jury then hears the changes and the plea of the defendant. Following opening arguments, both sides present testimonies and rebuttals. The judge then explains the applicable law to the jury. The jury meets to determine guilt or innocence. If the jury says the defendant is guilty, the judge or jury determines a punishment. In some cases this requires additional hearings.